New birds, first night at home. Could use some advice.

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by GParkins, Aug 2, 2013.

  1. GParkins

    GParkins Hatching

    Jul 8, 2013
    Hi folks,

    About a month ago, I finished my coop. For various reasons, we didn't get birds until today, but they arrived this afternoon. They are 8-week-old buff Orpington pullets. We put the first bedding in the henhouse, and let them out of the dog crate they traveled in. I hopped into the house, and sat down and started feeding them by hand, in an effort to get them accustomed to both us and their new surroundings.

    I picked up a $2 bag of Purina "Start N Grow", a small tin chick feeder, a 1-quart inverted-bottle waterer, and a 5-lb bag of grit (for 10-week-old birds) They ate about a cup and a half of the feed (I mixed in about a teaspoon of the grit). They haven't found the waterer yet. I brought them home at about 5:00 this afternoon, and it's about 6PM now. it's 82 and muggy, as we just had a heavy rain. I took up the food dish after they finished it.

    I think they're too young to make it to the perches I built, so I rigged a quickie perch 6" off the floor. They are fussing around in the bedding, acting like they're dusting. I suspect their intention is to nest on the floor of the house tonight.

    My immediate questions are:

    1) Do I need to put out more food? I plan on giving them a full feeder first thing in the morning.

    2) Will they get curious and explore, thus finding the waterer, or do I need to lead them to it?

    3) Roughly how much (by weight or volume) of food should I expect the six pullets to go through in a day?

    4) How long should I confine them to the chicken house before I allow them into the enclosure? How long before I can let them out into the yard?

    5) Should I be concerned if they don't roost at night? If not, is there an age when I should?

    6) We have warm nights here (low 80s). At eight weeks old, how are they at maintaining body temperature?

    Thanks very much to anyone that answers my questions, and without further ado, here are the girls:

  2. GParkins

    GParkins Hatching

    Jul 8, 2013
    I should have waited before posting my questions.

    A) they can hop up on the roosts just fine.

    B) they had zero difficulty finding the waterer.

    Sorry. First-time chicken farmer, and I'm a bit jumpy.
  3. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers


BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: